Dan Slott’s run on Fantastic Four is nearing its end, which means a big finish is in order, especially with the Reckoning War event ending. It’s hard to believe I spoke with Slott two and a half years ago about this series when it was just beginning, but here we are with Fantastic Four #45 wrapping up loose ends, carrying forward others, and possibly changing the Marvel universe in a bigger way than anyone would have thought.
Not since Kirby and Lee has a comic book felt so close to the epic and grandiose feel of the Marvel cosmic universe. Fantastic Four #45 ends up feeling a bit like an epilogue, although Slott has a few monumental problems for the Fantastic Four to resolve by the issue’s end. There are multiple things Slott wraps up, like the Watcher’s role, Galactus, and another that I won’t spoil. It’s rather impressive how much gets done in the issue.
Smartly, Slott opens this issue reminding us this series is about family. We open on Thing finally getting to see his family, but quickly we’re cutting to an hour earlier when all hell is still breaking loose. Along the way, care and love between Reed and Sue take place along with a few others, like She-Hulk. The threads of the cosmic universe may be crumbling, but the love between characters is just as important.
Something Slott has nailed about the Fantastic Four is how possibilities should be limitless. The imagination of the cosmos needs to be a major element. Given the results by the end of this issue, it’s obvious Slott understands that and is giving the next writer on the series a very big opportunity. There are also touches with Human Torch and Reed and Sue’s kids that are open doors at this point. They may be resolved in the next issue, but it’s cool to see how they’re handled here.
Drawn by Farid Karami with colors by Jesus Aburtov, the book looks sharp and is inked well too. Slott does not skimp on the number of characters per panel and Karami probably needs a month’s break after drawing so many so well on every page. There’s a modern feel to the look of the book, of course, but there still is something to how many characters are in a panel and how detailed they are that harkens back to the old days of Marvel Comics. That’s captured well visually here as well. Karami uses a few double-page layouts to help convey scale and also draw the eye nicely across the page.
Joe Caramagna letters the issue and does well to keep the dialogue moving, be it word balloon placement or readability. There isn’t a lot of flair with this issue, although a few sound effects are epic and awesome. It really doesn’t need flair, however, since much of the issue involves characters talking calmly and making decisions. Gotta love the Galactus word balloons with the Kirby crackle, though!
Fantastic Four #45 is a good send-off for major plot elements Dan Slott introduced. One might argue he’s putting to bed some of his ideas and resetting the book for another creative team, but it’s done with such nuance and professionalism it feels like we’re reading a classic Marvel tale. Fantastic Four reminds us Marvel’s cosmic universe is challenging and epic.
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